West End Wakes Up To Mysterious Fish Graveyard

West End locals woke up to the spectacle of lifeless fish and crustaceans on the banks of the Brisbane River, a mysterious fish graveyard that has sparked concern among residents and experts.

The incident came to light on Thursday morning when passers-by noticed the dead marine life, including species known for their resilience, such as mullet, bream, catfish, and mud crabs. The sight was particularly alarming given these species’ known tolerance to freshwater, ruling out the recent flooding as a cause.

Associate Professor Ian Tibbetts from the University of Queensland shared his insights on the matter. He dismissed the idea that the recent deluge and subsequent freshwater influx into the river were to blame. “All fish reported like mullet, bream, catfish and even some mud crabs are known for being quite freshwater resilient so it is not the only reason for them popping up,” he said.

Despite reporting the incident to Queensland Health and the Pollution Hotline, there has been no response. This has led to speculation about a possible toxic spill or similar event in the area. “The chances of it being a localised spill or some sort of toxic event in the area are more than likely,” Mr. Tibbetts added.

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Jonathan Sriranganathan, Greens Brisbane Mayor candidate, took to social media to document the mass fish graveyard. He noted an oily rainbow sheen on the water’s surface, which further supports the toxic spill theory.

The Department of Environment, Science and Innovation is currently investigating the incident. While the cause of the fish deaths remains unknown, one theory suggests that low dissolved oxygen levels following recent heavy rain could be responsible. The rain may have washed organic matter into the river, affecting its oxygen levels.

As the investigation continues, we urge all West End residents to stay vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the authorities. The health of the Brisbane River is a shared responsibility, and every piece of information helps.

Published 2-February-2024